Life and Culture
Spartans were completely focused on military. It was their whole way of life. If a baby was considered weak, the baby would be left to die. When a Spartan boy turned seven they were brought into direct control of the city. Food was rationed so Spartan boys would steal. If they were caught they would be whipped not because they stole, because they did it carelessly and unskillfully. Spartan women would not have to go through military training but were educated, not academically but physically. In most Greek states they were forced to stay indoors. No Spartan were free to live as they wish. Their city was like a large military camp.
Two kings would rule the city but the council of the elders would limit their powers. These men were the highest in the social class. Then below the higher class is the middle class which is made up of farmers and artisans. These people payed taxes and could serve in the army, but had no real political rights. At the bottom were the helots. They were slaves and rebelled often.
Spartans primarily ate beef stew also known as Black Broth. It was made from pork, salt, vinegar, and blood. The dish was served with maza and sometimes fish. In the 2nd-3rd century author Aelian, claims that Spartan cooks were prohibited to make anything other than meat. They obviously needed the protein to make them strong enough to have the great military they had. The most widespread drink was water. The cup was called the Kothon which had the military advantage of hiding the color of the water from view trapping mud in its edge. Men drank watered down wine because being drunk was not tolerated. Sparta was the only city where women routinely drank wine. After a main meal of Black Broth they would have dishes such as fruit, game, poultry, and other dedicates.
Important buildings and places
- The tomb of Leonidas which was made from stone and contained two chambers.
- The Shrain of Artemis Orthia. It was the temple for the goddess Orthia.
- The ancient Sparta city theater. It was built in 30-20 BC, made out of entirely local white marble.
The Peloponnesian War
The Peloponnesian was was between Sparta and Athens. Athens and Sparta had fought before the war but agreed to truce. Sparta later accused Athens of aggression after the truce and Sparta threatened an attack. Finally in the spring of 431BC a Spartan ally, Thebes, attacked an Athenian ally, Plataea, and open war began. This war lasted 431 to 404 B.C., so that is twenty seven years. Sparta wins the Peloponnesian battle.
The Peloponnesian War - Song from History.com
- Sparta was one of the key city-states in Ancient Greece.
- It was located in the Laconia region, in the Peloponnese, on the bank of the Eurotas River.
- Although it had been in existence since the tenth century BC, it became a truly dominant force in about 650 BC.
- Sparta gained a reputation as a military power, and Spartan warriors were thought to be the best ground troops in all of Ancient Greece.
- Only Spartans who died in battle and Spartan women who died in childbirth were entitled to having their names engraved on their gravestones.